A College Student Injured in the Las Vegas Shooting Sues the Hotel Where the Shooter Stayed

A college student injured in the Las Vegas shooting is suing MGM Resorts, the owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel, for negligence towards maintaining the hotel in a "reasonably safe condition," BuzzFeed News reports. 21-year-old Paige Gasper, a student at Sonoma State University, was hit by a bullet during the mass shooting at the Route 91 country music festival earlier this month. 

"This is the America we live in where people can do horrible things," Gasper's lawyer said at a press conference on Wednesday. "By failing to plan for it, we put a lot of people in danger."

Gasper's lawsuit also calls out Live Nation Entertainment, which hosted the festival, as a defendant. Also named as defendants are shooter Stephen Paddock's estate and the manufacturer of the bump stock device that Paddock used in the attack. 

The lawsuit addresses the hotel's alleged failure to respond quickly to Paddock shooting a hotel security guard. Speaking against the new timeline of the shooting, which claimed that the guard was shot six minutes before Paddock began attacking the crowd below, MGM said, "We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate."

"This lawsuit is not about gun control," Gasper's lawyers said, instead focusing on Paddock's success in sneaking several weapons into the hotel room without staff noticing. "He spent at least four days stockpiling weapons and ammunition. One would wonder how the room service or cleaning staff did not notice what was going on."

The Sonoma State Star newspaper reports that Gasper was with six friends when the shooting began during country singer Jason Aldean's festival performance. She is currently recovering from a liver laceration and fractured ribs caused by her bullet wound. According to BuzzFeed, she was trampled by the crowd while her friends were helping her escape, but a stranger found her and brought her to a hospital in his truck. 

Gasper's mother Heather Selken said at the press conference that choosing to file a lawsuit was difficult, but that "for change to happen, the hard things have to happen." "We want change to happen so this won't happen to you, your children and your families," she said.

Before the lawsuit came about, MGM Resorts announced its donation of $3 million for shooting victims and first responders. As Gasper has a long recovery ahead of her, a GoFundMe page has raised over $4,000 in her name. 

About The Author

Kristen is a 2017 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English and minors in Writing & Communications and Journalism. Although she constantly pines for life in London after studying there for a semester, she calls New York home for now. In addition to previously working as a writer and Senior Editor for Her Campus Siena, she has worked for Her Campus as a News and Pop Culture blogger and a national editorial intern. Currently a Nights & Weekend Editor, Kristen has previously written for New York Minute, London's Health and Fitness, and Electronic Products. She makes far too many references to "Friends" and the British royal family. Her blog, where she talks about books, TV, and film, can be found at Bookworms and Fangirls. Follow her on Twitter @kperroney.